Food & DrinkFebruary 16, 2011 at 7:51 am

Review: Horizons

Maanvi Singh | 34th Street

Part 1: Vegan’s Opinion

As a vegan, I’m often asked what I eat, as if I’m on a rabbit food diet of raw carrots and lettuce. While I like to think I eat a little better than that, it’s true that at the average restaurant, my options are pretty limited.

Given that I’m a particularly indecisive person, this can sometimes be a huge time–saver. At Horizons, however, I was excited to be able to order anything on the menu without special instructions or guesswork.

When the time came, however, figuring out what I wanted was kind of overwhelming. I settled on the Purple Potato Pierogies ($9), which were absolutely delicious, with a flaky crust that somehow tasted buttery despite their obvious lack of butter. I liked the BBQ Seitan ($10) when I first tasted it, but as I continued to eat it reminded me too much of real meat, which kind of put me off.

Although carnivores will probably be into it, it made my stomach turn. The Pacific Rim Grilled Tofu ($19) was tasty, but I wasn’t completely sold. The edamame puree that came on top was my favorite part; it was smooth like hummus but spicier and more flavorful.

Given that I hadn’t even thought about eating cheesecake in months, I felt compelled to order the Meyer Lemon Cheesecake ($9) for dessert. This was easily the best part of the meal. While the side of cream soda was a bit bitter, the creamy cake was tart and delicious. If you’ve been thinking of going vegan but aren’t willing to give up gourmet meals, Horizons may be just the place to convert you for good.

Don’t Miss: Meyer lemon cheesecake and purple potato pierogies
Skip: BBQ seitan

Paige Rubin

Part 2: A Carnivore’s Review

Right around the corner from the greasy diners on South Street is an upscale restaurant that any foodie would love. However, the classy but soothing décor and overly friendly wait staff are not the only things that make this spot different from the rest. It does not take long to note that a staple is missing from the menu — meat.

This may come as a shock to any carnivore who enjoys large hearty meals. But I quickly discovered that many of the dishes that I would order at other restaurants were still on the menu; meat substitutes created the illusion of a meal that any of us would love.

The BBQ Seitan appetizer ($10) was reminiscent of pork cooked long enough to fall off the bone. The texture and flavor could have fooled the finest critic and instantly won me over. Pleased with my first course, I continued to order items that sounded like the meat–based foods I grew up eating.

I was pleasantly surprised with my entrée of Porcini “Shepherd’s Pie” ($20). Mushrooms took on the role of the beef or lamb in the traditional recipe and were topped with a truffled celery root puree. The dish sat in a mustard sauce that gave flavor to the entire plate and took it from good to incredible. However, the side of Curry Fries ($6) was less than impressive. Thick slices of potato were not cooked through and only lightly drizzled with a rather flavorless sauce. This minor glitch in the meal did not hinder me from having high expectations for the rest.

Shockingly full from food that rabbits eat, I decided to move on to the dessert list. After long deliberation, I chose the Chocolate Stuffed Beignets ($9). Baked goods seem to be a vegan chef’s specialty, and I was not disappointed. Powdered sugar dominated a pastry with a thick chocolate–y center and marshmallow cocoa accompanied the plate. Don’t let the lack of animal byproducts scare you away; this restaurant is just as satisfying as your average steakhouse.

Don’t Miss: BBQ seitan
Skip: Curry fries

Hilary Miller

HORIZONS
611 S. 7th St.
(215) 923–6117
$$$

 
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